Friday, July 11, 2008

Passing the Leadership Test

In a post at the "Parish the Thought" blog I caught reference to a talk called "Passing the Leadership Test" by Bill Hybels at the 2003 Leadership Summit.

Bill Hybels found five tests that define leadership from Jesus' interaction with Peter in Luke 5:

1. Bias toward Action – if you're going to lead, you want to see impact and transformation, so those who follow you better be geared to get 'er done

2. Can You Follow Direction? – sometimes decisions aren't popular. Will those who follow be willing to do what is needed even if they have reservations?

3. Who Deserves the Credit? – Ministry is about allowing God to build His kingdom through you. To Him goes the glory, no one else. Those seeking limelight or a resume-builder need not apply.

4. The Grander Vision Test – Lives are in the balance. Eternal destinies. Lives not just blessed but transformed. Leaders need to issue a challenge to people who really want want to advance the kingdom.

5. Will You Leave It? – There is a cost to following. It's not fair or right to hide that cost. Many will be reluctant to give up whatever may be holding them back from serving God fully. But those who understand the cost and yet will follow will be used by God for great things.

For other thoughts on Passing the Leadership Test, you can also see some online notes from an attender, and Pastor Troy's thoughts about the test from Jesus' point of view.

(Side note to Facebook fans, Jason Strickling of 'Parish the Thought' just joined Facebook and one of his 'old college friends pointed out his blog to me shortly after I joined. The tendrils of social networking reach out just beyond your direct 'friends')


Amy said...

To be honest, this hasn't sat well with me, in large part because (and I just figured this out) it describes leadership in terms of the followers (particularly one and two, although other points tend to do the same). It seems logical that a great leader will attract (or be made great by) great followers, but I'm not sure what these points say to our leadership; rather, it seems to point out where I err in following.

Larry Baxter said...

Amy, thanks for the comment! An excellent observation really - several of these 'tests' do focus on the interaction with the (potential) follower. One definition of a leader (Malphurs) is "a servant with the credibility and capabilities to influence people in a particular context to pursue their God given Direction". Given that, the relationship with the follower cannot be ignored. I don't think it's so much that the followers are great, but that a leader like Jesus will challenge and bring out the best in people, and, will for the sake of the cause surround himself with people who are faithful, teachable, humble, yet action oriented. That said, I do agree with you, it's almost a better 'test' of a good follower :)